Modern Classic SLR Series :
Canon EOS-1N Series AF SLR camera

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System Overview on Canon EOS-1N flash photography

Unlike ambient light photography where various current technologies focused at, taking well exposed pictures is relatively quite an easy process. If you are not very particular with qualitative element, taking acceptable flash pictures can also be easily achievable. However, a step beyond this, advance flash photography can be quite tricky as you are toying around a Speedlite that only emitting a short burst of light to the scene you intend to capture to get a specific result you intend to portray. Like it or not, I think most would agree with me that taking successful flash photography is not as easy as taking pictures in ambient light. However, as long as you treat it as a valuable tool for you to, firstly - overcome certain unfavorable lighting conditions, and a channel to explore some photographic possibilities never tried before in ambient light, why would you afraid of using a flash ? Well, to begin with this, understanding what the camera limitations in this area will often increases in bringing higher rate of successful creatively taken flash photography.

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Synchro-sunlight photography.

Vincent name

: Image courtesy of Mr. Vincent Thian Photo Editor of AP (Associated Press, regional bureau/ Malaysia) on an assignment to cover the World Motorcycle championship at Sepang F-1 Circuit, Malaysia. Vincent also maintains an Selective of his older works can also be found at a section of Windows in MIR site or at his Portfolio in MIR Image copyright © 1996-2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Canon 199A compared Canon  300TL Canon 420EZ flash Canon 430EZ flash

The above illustrates four major stages in the Canon's flash development prior to arrival of Canon EOS-1N & 540EZ AF TTL Speedlite era. The flash foot of each flash model mirrors the data communications in accordance with development of flash technologies of each stage in camera models. The last four models are capable of delivering A-TTL flash exposure control. and locking pin was added from 430EZ onwards. One way or another, Canon system backward compatibility permits many older flash to be used on newer bodies, except omission of certain added-on advance flash features only.

Suggestive Internal or External Link to these Canon Speedlite 160E | 300EZ | 300TL | 420EZ | 430 EZ | 480EG | 540EZ | other non-TTL Canon flash models

Flash Foot Canon 199A Flash Foot Canon 300TL Flash Foot Canon 420EZ Flash Foot Canon 430EZ Flash Foot of Canon 540EZ
Credit: Image of Auto Canon 199A courtesy of Mr. Russel Cross® with an Ebay user name "biggamut"; he runs an active Ebay Store where I found this great image of his 199A; images of non-AF Canon 300TL & 430EZ AF TTL Speedlite courtesy of Mr. Elle of®, U.K.. PhoneBustas also manages an Ebay Store too; both of them trade many photo equipment of various labels. Image(s) copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Question: - Technically, since all connection between camera and a auto thrisyter are via the hot shoe connection and most likely the center main contact is about at the same location; so - Can older Canon flash unit(s) be used on the EOS-1N ? Possible. Perhaps only restrictive in Manual Mode only and at full flash output. What about the other way (EOS system flash onto older FD system SLRs ? Not encouraged. A good friend of mine, Philip Chong (by the way, I called him Captain Canon...) actually tried to figure out with Canon official warning whether has some truth in it (Canon dedicated Speedlites. uses 6 volts DC through their trigger circuits. applicable to most EOS cameras), he sacrificed his aged 420EX onto the New Canon F-1, the flash was, errr .. damaged. I think possibly the few other flash contacts were not covered or shielded from possible connection between camera/flash. Anyway, don't try to be outsmart them, I will not be responsible for any mishap on both of your camera or flash if spoilt for this... hehe..


Maximum flash sync shutter speed

Availability / unavailability of
out-of- coupling warning with A-TTL pre-flash

Date of release





Canon EOS 650




(EOS-650 info link)


Canon EOS 620




(EOS-620 info link)


Canon EOS 750




(EOS-750QD info link)


Canon EOS 850




(EOS-850QD info link)


Canon EOS 630




(EOS-630QD info link)


Canon EOS-1




(EOS-1 info link)


Canon EOS RT




(EOS-RT info link)


Canon EOS 10




X (EOS-10S QD info link)


Canon EOS 700




X (EOS-700QD info link)


Canon EOS 1000




X (EOS-1000F info link)


Canon EOS 100




X (EOS-100 / Elan QD info link)


Canon EOS 1000s




X (EOS-1000FN /Rebel S II QD info link)


Canon EOS 5




X (EOS-5/A2E QD info link)


Canon EOS Kiss




X (EOS-500 info link)


Canon EOS 1N






Canon EOS 1N RS/RT






NOTE;- For most Canon xxxEZ Compatibility with Pre-EOS Camera models Canon the Canon 540EZ be used on Pre-EOS cameras ? In a word, TTL automatic flash operation is possible with the T90, but with other cameras the flash must be used manually using guide number calculations. Supplementary explanations are provided below. (a) With AE SLRs equipped with a JCC contact on the accessory shoe, the synchronous shutter speed is automatically set upon completion of flash charging. (b) With the T90, which is equipped with TTL automatic flash control circuitry, both A-TTL and TTL automatic flash exposure are possible. However, since data communications between the camera and flash differ from the EOS system, operation is restricted as follows:

Auto zoom, f/No display and coupling range display are not provided on the 540 EZ.
Flash exposure compensation from the flash unit side can be set on the 540EZ, but it does not function.
Second-curtain synchronization can be set but does not function,

When attached to the T80 and previous cameras which are not equipped with a TTL automatic flash control function, the 540EZ fires at full power because the camera does not send a stop signal to the flash unit. Manually set the aperture according to the value calculated from the "Guide number divided by Shooting distance" formula. In manual firing mode, the 540EZ operates at the output level indicated in the display. Note:- some EZ models such as Canon 160E, 200E etc. which have no manual modes other then TTL, it will burst the flash at maximum flash output when uses it with a Canon compatible camera that has no TTL flash control.

For Canon 540EZ when uses EOS cameras other than the EOS-1N, CLICK HERE for the compatibility Chart (models confined to to EOS-1n Era).

Maximum flash sync shutter speed and availability/ unavailability of an out-of-coupling-range warning with A-TTL pre-flash for each EOS model

Possibly due to Canon's late entry into exploring potential of TTL flash exposure control, I know some of you often like to compare Canon flash system with other rivalries (esp. Nikon) in this area. Don't be. Canon flash has a long history in auto flash system, even the last pro series Canon model prior to arrival of EOS-1, the Canon New F-1 (1981) was still adopting conventional auto flash method much due to emphasis on providing multiple options on a few metering systems which has resulted in a lapse of a generation behind the main stream development in this area. Lesson has learnt and one of the main system design in the EOS concept back in 1987 was reverted back to adopt TTL OTF (Through the Lens, Off the Film Plane) flash metering (an original concept first pioneered by Olympus OM2N back in 1975), as various advantages as well as enormous potential offer with TTL metering will provide workable solution where conventional auto flash technique couldn't provide. Well, the first experimental Canon SLR camera which adopted this method was not the EOS, it was the pre-EOS era's FD-mount Canon T90 of 1986. In fact, many of the advance TTL flash system employed in the early and even some second generation EOS SLR cameras were already replicating T90 method into them (A-TTL , just for an example).

Canon EOS-1N accessory shoe

PC flash terminal.jpg

Due to interpretation of the word "pro-oriented" and assumption of what most professional want in a camera, non of the Canon EOS-1 series models have a built-in flash on the pentaprism. Well, I would think if ever the EOS-1(n) has interchangeable prism feature, an optional finder with a built-in flash would be nice (Nikon lacks imagination in this kind of application with their Nikon F5, even if they have that...hehe). This causes all EOS-1 series models require a hand mounted flash (Speedlite, in Canon's term for their lineup of flash units). The accessory shoe is the primary section where flash can be mounted and use; a supplementary connection is via a conventional PC-terminal at the side of the body for, bracket mounted flash, off camera cable connection or a mean to provide non-dedicated third party flash. Please note when the latter method is used, ONLY manual or auto flash is possible with this connection (i.e. via PC terminal).

The EOS flash exposure control system is based on the TTL automatic flash exposure control system employed in the T90 SLR and 300TL flash unit released in 1985/6, but incorporates technological improvements that have accompanied the evolution of the EOS system. Description of the evolution of the EOS flash exposure control system have been discussed in quite a number of web forums, where descriptions of the functions and features of the EOS Speedlites. when used with various flash-related accessories are many as well (One very good web site I came across recently on Canon Flash photography is PhotoNote.Org.). Anyway, the creation of this site is not to challenge anyone, rather just aim to compile some of the info in orderly as references. As I had finished the AF-Nikon F4, Nikon F5 and MF-Olympus Flash systems, so it is equally interesting to observe the changes among the few major Camera system how the development of flash photography evolved over the years. EOS TTL automatic flash exposure control system basic operation and flash exposure Control is carried out in two steps. First, EOS camera determines the appropriate flash control aperture value and shutter speed. Next, during exposure, light reflected from the film is measured in real-time, and TTL automatic flash exposure control is carried out based on the flash aperture value set.

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Vincent name

: Image courtesy of Mr. Vincent Thian Photo Editor of AP (Associated Press, regional bureau/ Malaysia) on an assignment to cover the World Motorcycle championship at Sepang F-1 Circuit, Malaysia. Vincent also maintains an Selective of his older works can also be found at a section of Windows in MIR site or at his Portfolio in MIR Image copyright © 1996-2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Although many think that flash photography is probably difficult when they hear mention of the EOS flash system, operation is actually very similar to normal AE (ambient light) photography. In other words, all the user has to do is to select Full Auto or P (program) mode if it is desired to leave everything up to the camera, select shutter-priority AE mode if the user wants to set the shutter speed, or select aperture-priority AE mode if the user wants to set the aperture value. After that, all that is required is to make sure the flash ready light is lit before taking each picture. However, use of flash does introduce a few differences compared to normal AE photography, as described below:

* Available shutter speeds are restricted to the camera body's fastest flash synchronizing (X-sync) speed.
* Body metering characteristics differ during flash exposure.
* When the camera is set to fully automatic operation, the method used internally by the camera to determine the aperture and shutter speed values differs from normal program AE operation.

The TTL flash control exposure level is controlled internally by the EOS camera body. In basic terms, the flash operates according to commands sent from the camera. Regardless of the situation, TTL automatic flash exposure level control is carried out internally by the camera at the time of exposure based on the actual aperture setting by metering the light reflected off the film in real-time. When the exposure reaches the correct level as determined by the camera, the camera sends an "OFF' signal to the flash unit to stop the flash output. When the flash output is cut off, the stored energy still remaining in the flash unit is saved and combined with new energy from the batteries for use in the next flash emission. Note: Flash exposure control is based on the assumption that the flash is used to provide artificial illumination in low-light situations or fill light in backlit situations. If flash is used in bright, front-lit situations which could be properly exposed without flash, the result will generally be overexposure.

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Flash Photography:- Part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 - Canon 540EZ site

Selective Canon TTL Flash Models:- 160E | 200E | 300EZ | 300TL | 420EZ | 430 EZ | 480EG | 540EZ | Macrolite | Other non-TTL Canon flash models |
Useful Resources at Julian Loke site: - Instruction Manual(s (PDF) for Canon 420EX | 580EX AF-TTL Speedlites.

Suggestive weblink:- Canon Flash Resources at or Bob Atkin Flash FAQ section

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| Back | Index Page The Canon EOS-1N Series Professional SLR camera
| Back | Main Index Page The Canon EOS-1 Series Professional SLR camera

Background and Various Issues | The Basic Features & various Setup
Manual & Auto Focusing | Metering Systems | Exposure Control | Viewfinder Optical
Flash Photography (with Speedlite 540EZ extension & Selective info on Canon TTL Flash Models:-160E | 200E | 300EZ | 300TL | 420EZ | 430 EZ | 480EG | MacroLites | Other non-TTL Canon flash model

Reliability Issues:- Body Chassis | Shutter Unit | Electronic Circuitry | Film Transport & film handling Secondary Functions:- Custom Function Part One | Part Two | System Accessories:- Film Back Options - instruction for Command Back E1 | Macro/Close Up Part one | Part two and Part III Flash for Macro-Photography | Power Sources -BP-E1 | PDB-E1 | Focusing Screens | Remote Control with Wireless Remote Set LC-3 | System compatibility

Variants of Canon EOS-1N:- Canon EOS-1N RS | Canon/Kodak Digital DCS-1, 3 -5 & 520/560 Series | Full Technical Specification | Main Reference Map / Nomenclature | Resource Centre:- Comparative Charts between EOS-1 & EOS-1N / or with its active Competition(s) (Nikon); Quick Operational Reference Card (278k Gif File); Listings of 7-segment digital numbers/letters appeared on LCD display panel/viewfinders (HTML page); External Link:-Instruction Manual (3.3MB PDF file applicable for both Canon EOS-1N (RS). | Using EOS system for your photography | Bots & Nuts of EOS System - by Philip Chong |

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Volunteered Maintainer(s) for the Canon EOS-1N Series Message Board: Philip Chong, Editor, Digital Camera Magazine; Vincent Thian, Photo Editor, Malaysian Bureau, Associated Press "AP", CYleow, Ex-photo Editor of local daily, The Star; Gary Rowan Higgins, Australia and other nice folks on the web.

Special Credit:- :Mr. Richard Yeow & Mr. Simon Wong from camera division of Canon Malaysia Logo Marketing Malaysia, for their continual effort in supporting development of this EOS/EF website. Others: All the nice people on earth who have contributed their photos and pictures of personal works or product shots for the creation of this site. Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work for public publishing in this website, where majority of the extracted information are used basing on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from any possible dispute except rectifying them after verification from respective source. Neither Nikon or its associates has granted any permission(s) in using their public information nor has any interest in the creation of this site. "Canon", "EOS", "EF" "RT", "EOS-1n RS", "Booster ", "Macrolite", "fluorite", "Image Stabilizer" & other applicable technical/business terms are registered trade name(s) of Canon Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple G5 IMac.